Introverts Part 5

Introverts Part 5

This week, Imagine Hope is discussing what it means to be an introvert.  

Some people assume that being an introvert means that you are shy.  That is not necessarily true!  Introverts can be very outgoing and sociable people.  In fact, many times, introverts love people-- learning about others, doing things for others, and can be very loyal, caring and loving individuals.  As Christy mentioned on Monday in this weeks earlier blog series, the difference with introverts is that, usually, they need to "re-fuel" their emotional, mental, spiritual and physical "tank" by doing things that are more solitary and self-reflecting.

Essential Ingredients to a Healthy Relationship Part 1

Essential Ingredients to a Healthy Relationship Part 1

Everyone has good intentions to find a healthy relationship, but do they have what it takes to make it happen? Enmeshment is the initial love stuck feeling people typically experience at the beginning. This extreme is a short lived fantasy land where people tend to lose themselves. This is not a healthy relationship.

Characteristics of Healthy Friendships- 4

Vulnerable Healthy friendships are REAL.  They allow you to be yourself and to be vulnerable, without fear of judgement or criticism.  Healthy friendships promote transparency and create a space where you want to share.  These are the friends who you can call when you make a mistake or have thoughts you wouldn't share with just "anyone".  And the surprising thing... when you share in a vulnerable way with a healthy friend, they reciprocate and share back!

Vulnerability means that you don't feel like you need to keep secrets with a healthy friend.  Since they don't ask you to do things that make you uncomfortable (and if they did, you can be honest with a healthy friend and tell them without fear of abandonment or rejection), there is no need to hide things from a healthy friend.  They accept you... warts and all!

These are the friends you don't hesitate to tell them when they have food in their teeth or when their outfit has a stain on it.  These are the friends you tell your hopes and fears to.  These are the friends you share your shame with, and the friends who you can cry on their shoulder and know they will comfort you.  These are the friends who ask, "How are you doing?", and you actually tell them.  These are the friends who are priceless and wonderful!

If you have a healthy friend who you can be vulnerable and real with, we encourage you to thank them today.  They are one in a million!

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.


Characteristics of Healthy Friendships-2

Ahhh, friends. I hope you're blessed with the best friend in the whole world. I know I am. It's through friendship we grow, are challenged, and see the best and worst of ourselves. Friendships are forgiving. At their core, friendships are two imperfect people having a relationship. Feelings are going to be hurt (on accident). Toes are going to be stepped on (on accident). Lines are going to be crossed (on accident). Tears will be shed (as a result).

How quickly and easily are you able to forgive your friend for being human in your relationship with them? Maybe this question is best asked, "How quickly do you want your friend to forgive you when you make a mistake, or unknowingly hurt their feelings?"

Too often we can hold our friends at a higher standard of performance than which we hold ourselves. I'm guilty of this too. Forgiveness is freeing and we need to remember to forgive, because we've been forgiven as well.

Thanks for reading, please check back Thursday & Friday as we cover more healthy friendship characteristics.

Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.

Characteristics of Healthy Friendships-1

In honor of International Friendship day just passing (August 2nd), we are talking this week about healthy friendships. It’s important to focus on the things that are present and not present in a friendship. When you see or experience negative things such as jealousy, gossip, and narcissism, it can be easy to focus on those things. However, it’s equally important to focus on the positive things that may or may not be present. This week, we want you to look at your friendships through a new lens to see what characteristics are present in your friendships, and how you can work to be a better friend.


“Yielding flexibility is a virtue of an ever-expanding heart.”― Molly Friedenfeld

Flexibility is the ability to be molded, adapted, or modified. Flexibility is an extremely important trait to possess as a friend and to also have present in your friendships. How do your friends react when you need them to be adaptable or when plans have to be modified because “life happens”? Friends who react with grace and understanding are truly great friendships.

On the other hand, how do you react when a friend needs to cancel or change plans? Do you moan and groan because you are inconvenienced, or are you flexible and sympathetic? How you react shows just what kind of friend you are to others.

*Disclaimer: Just like most things in life, there are extreme situations where you do need to have firmer boundaries. If a friend continually cancels on you or is always expecting you to be the flexible one, they are not respecting you or the friendship.

Check back in this week as we talk about more characteristics of a healthy friendship.

Written by: Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group.  Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling.  Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

Boundaries We've Set- Teri

We love talking about boundaries at Imagine Hope. Many times we are share the concept of boundaries, but rarely do we share examples of boundaries we have actually set in our own lives. We believe in leading by example, so this week we are each sharing a personal story. We hope this encourages you to face your fears in setting boundaries! Breaking up With Friends

This was a hard thing to do, but necessary. There was a point in our marriage where my husband and I had to look at who we were going to surround ourselves with.

We had friends that we did everything with. Ones we grew up with. Even ones who supported us at our wedding. But even in the midst of all these reasons, break ups occurred. We saw that those reasons weren't enough to continue in an unhealthy friendship.

It was important for us to look at the influence friends had on us personally and also how they would impact our kids. As we started our family, we felt the need to have people who shared similar faith beliefs, parenting styles, and life values around us.

Some friends enabled us to be our worst selves rather than our best selves. That had to change. We needed encouraging supports to walk with us in life. Not ones who brought drama and pain.

As this realization was building, we distanced. We thought we could drift away slowly. But in the end that didn't work. A face-to-face conversation had to happen. The words had to be spoken... we are just different people now heading in different directions.

It was intimidating to hurt someone you had shared so much life with. Boundaries tend to hurt and sting- that is unavoidable.

After the break up, it was freeing. Sure there were awkward moments when paths crossed again. But there have been multiple moments of gratitude between my husband and I for taking the stand for our family and setting this boundary.

Remember that just because people have played a certain role in your life does not mean that they are healthy for you to maintain a relationship with. If you are struggling in one of your relationships, talk to one of our therapists to see what boundaries you could be setting.

Check in tomorrow for more examples of boundaries!

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri does virtual therapy for residents of Indiana and Florida using videoconferencing technology. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling and adolescent counseling.